American Russian Cancer Alliance (ARCA)

Tobacco Control Research

Marat Gordeev, Geneticist, Tatarstan Regional Oncology Center

Fox Chase Cancer Center in conjunction with collaborators at the Blokhin Cancer Research Center in Moscow and the Tatarstan Cancer Research Center have studied a biobehavioral model of smoking in Russians with cancer. Cancer patients who continue to smoke may possess genetic markers linked to nicotine addiciton. Although psychological factors such as depression and awareness of the risks of smoking influence whether patients stop smoking, genetic factors may also play a role.

The benefits of collaborating with Russian investigators are:

  1. Higher prevalence of smoking in Russians (access to more subjects)
  2. Racial homogeneity (less confounding of the gene pool)
  3. Less exposure to antidepressants and nicotine replacement therapy (less chemical gene induction)
  4. Cooperative patients and investigators (more efficient use of clinical resources)

Study #1 - Tobacco Survey of Russian Cancer Patients - Completed

Cancer patient tobacco use is higher in Russia, compared with the United States. This study takes a look at the prevalence and correlates of tobacco use among Russian cancer patients, as well as the implications for the development of smoking cessation and interventions at a cancer center in Russia.

Study #2 - Tobacco Survey of Russian Oncologists - Completed

In Russia, 1/2 of the physicians are trained in basic science (e.g., harms of tobacco), but only 1/3 are trained in clinical science (e.d., treating tobacco dependence). This study will take a closer look at smoking cessation counseling by Russian oncologists, as well as the opportunities for interventions in the Russian Federation.

Study #3 - Biobehavioral Model of Cancer Patient Smoking - Ongoing

Tartarstan Laboratory, 2010

50% of the variation in smoking cessation is due to genetic factors. Given persistent smoking post-diagnosis, genes may play an importantant role in determining cancer patient smoking behavior. So far, no studies have examined a biobehavioral model of smoking among cancer patients (genes and behaviors).

The aims of this study are:

  • Assess prevalence of genes related to nicotine dependence (e.g., DRD2, DRD4, CB1 TAG haplotype) and correlate with smoking status among cancer patients
  • Explore interactions among genes and between genes and depressive symptoms in terms of predicting smoking

All studies were supported by ARCA, NIH Fogarty and NCI Office of International Affairs.